The rumors have substance. Zaun’s toxic sewers, already responsible for creating the great Plague Rat known as Twitch, have mutated him further still. He’s been spotted – smelled, rather – cackling and scuttling towards PBE, giving horrified onlookers a first glimpse at contemporary pestilence.

Champion Insights

We’ve had our sights set on a Twitch update for years now. While some older champions in our game had (and in some cases, still have) the famous pizza feet, old Twitch barely had feet at all. In fact, because he was mostly hidden beneath his huge cloak, his animation rig (the skeleton we add joints to so we can create animations and emotes) was extremely limiting, making it hard to create new or different skins for the champion. So instead of fudging our way through and doing our best with old Twitch, we figured it’d be best to start from scratch and create a completely new Plague Rat.

Now, champion updates are always going to be a sensitive topic: there are 118 champions in League of Legends right now, and every one is near and dear to someone’s heart. So, in order to satisfy existing Twitch players while potentially opening up the champ to new players, we needed to identify what made him lovable in the eyes of the players that love him. After surveys (both internal and external), here are the key pillars we set out for Twitch’s update:

Comically crazed and sinister

We loved Twitch’s character, and took active steps not just to preserve it in the rework, but give it avenues to really shine. Now, his models, animations and voice over reinforce the same slightly manic and silly-but-he’s-still-killing-me-ow-my-face persona. Check the video above to hear a couple of his lines.

2014-quality models

Twitch was initially released way back in 2009, so we had five years’ worth of tech and vision improvements to implement in his update. We’re adding some ground-breaking features in here by rigging the lower half of his body (imagine that!), and showcasing his character through flavorful animations that flow through his entire body, including his tail. Of course, we’ve also included a bunch of small touches we now deem standard, such as different run animations depending on movement speed, extra VO lines and a suitably odious new splash (coming soon!).

Quality of life improvements

Not all of Twitch’s changes need to blow your minds. While we were working on the new models, we added in a few nice QoL tweaks that should help out both Twitch and his enemies:

  • We added a sound effect and puff of poison particles to better indicate the moment when Ambush’s invisibility kicks in. This should better indicate to Twitch players when they’ve turned invisible, particularly when they’re being attacked.
  • We gave Expunge a range indicator, and added a particle linking Twitch with his Expunged victims. This should help players on the opposite team understand why their health just took a nosedive.
  • We added extra particles to Spray and Pray that show who else is being hit by Twitch’s ult. This should help both Twitch and his enemies see where his damage is going.
Volume 58, Issue 12

THE SEWER MEN

"Yeah, we’d all tell Twitch stories down there, but he weren’t the only bogeyman we’d talk about. Twitch, the Screamers, Hunch, the Wilton twins... all fings we’d chinwag over to keep our spirits fair while we're knee-deep in slop. But this... this was ‘im! Knew me, it did. Knew me name, whispered it from the shadows. I all but messed me pants, but then Jimmy shows up an’ the whisperin’ stops. Must be me ‘ead, I says, so I carry on workin’, only then it ‘appens again. See, few minutes later, Jimmy an’ me ‘ave made our way down to the drain we’ve come to unclog, an’ I’m there, elbows in, when I sees it proper. Came at me, it did, hissed at me, told me to leave ‘is fings alone, only I was jus’ uncloggin’ this soddin’ drain. Woulda killed me if I’d stayed, sure of it, but soon as I saw it dartin’ after me, I was out of there fast as a flash. Ran quick as me legs would carry, but Jimmy weren’t nearly as nippy, not wiv the bag of rot ov’r his shoulder. Told ‘im to drop it, but ‘e weren’t listenin’. Face as pale as the moon, was Jimmy’s, so I turned and ran faster still. Heard the monster chasin’, heard it scratching the walls, heard Jimmy screamin’ for me... but I ran.”

“An’ that’s how you escaped?”

“Yeah. Tore straight up through the closest shaft and near shattered the sewer cover, so eager was I to unfasten the fing. Only went down later that evenin’ to find Jimmy. Took three sec-men with me. Armed to the teeth, we was.”

“An’ you found him.”

“Aye. Dead as a doornail. Lyin’ in a pool of grime an’ with a round of bolts buried in his back. Funny thing was though, Jimmy’s stuff was all on ‘im still. Still ‘ad his gear, still ‘ad his clothes, still ‘ad his rations. All Twitch took was the bag o’ rot. Don’t understand it. Don’t understand it one bit.”

Once Twitch has made his way to PBE, we’ll be on the lookout for feedback, so give him a whirl and let us know your thoughts. Just make sure you sanitize anything he touches.